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Another source distinguishes Islamist from Islamic "by the fact that the latter refers to a religion and culture in existence over a millennium, whereas the first is a political/religious phenomenon linked to the great events of the 20th century".
Islamists have, at least at times, defined themselves as "Islamiyyoun/Islamists" to differentiate themselves from "Muslimun/Muslims".
Moderate and reformist Islamists who accept and work within the democratic process include parties like the Tunisian Ennahda Movement.
Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan is basically a socio-political and democratic Vanguard party but has also gained political influence through military coup d'états in the past.
Following the Arab Spring, Roy has described Islamism as "increasingly interdependent" with democracy in much of the Arab Muslim world, such that "neither can now survive without the other." While Islamist political culture itself may not be democratic, Islamists need democratic elections to maintain their legitimacy.In Western media usage the term tends to refer to groups who aim to establish a sharia-based Islamic state, often with implication of violent tactics and human rights violations, and has acquired connotations of political extremism.In the Muslim world, the term has positive connotations among its proponents.Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc.Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi." —and thus is not a united movement.
Different currents of Islamist thought include advocating a "revolutionary" strategy of Islamizing society through exercise of state power, and alternately a "reformist" strategy to re-Islamizing society through grass-roots social and political activism. By the turn of the twentieth century it had begun to be displaced by the shorter and purely Arabic term "Islam" and by 1938, when Orientalist scholars completed The Encyclopaedia of Islam, seems to have virtually disappeared from English usage.